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American Graduate

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In 1999, when TVs and desktops dominated, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued its famous recommendation that children use no electronic screens before the age of 2.

Then in 2016 came an about face: If screens were used for something like video chat with faraway relatives or for looking at photos, they could be a good thing for kids of any age.

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A battle is brewing in the city of Dallas over school crossing guards. It comes after the Dallas County Schools bus agency said it doesn’t have the money to continue paying for crossing guards past Jan. 31.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

There’s a new major at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth dedicated to shining a light on issues around race and ethnicity. It’s part of broader efforts at the university to attract and retain more students of color and improve the campus culture.

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The Texas Education Agency recently announced 20 school systems will be part of a pilot program to develop local accountability systems. That’s now possible because of a law passed during the recent legislative session, which allows school districts to develop their own protocol to evaluate their schools.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Students across the country aren’t just learning how to spell or solve math problems. They’re also learning what are known as social and emotional skills, like managing stress and having empathy. In Dallas ISD, teachers are learning how to teach these skills in the classroom.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

A report finds that Texas is among the states that have made the deepest funding cuts to K-12 education over the past decade.

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Recent headlines, like the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict travelers from certain countries, have raised questions in education circles about whether U.S. politics are having an impact on foreign student enrollment at American universities. 

Courtesy of Ibrahim Ali

Seventh-grader Zahir Hameed says many students don’t have a problem with him. But there’s one kid who calls him names.

He just calls me 'stupid' and 'idiot,' and he just acts like I’m about to bomb the place,” said Zahir, on a recent Saturday morning at the East Plano Islamic Center.

The Wylie student is one of many Muslim kids here who shared their stories about bullying.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Some kids in Fort Worth are getting a little bonus with their haircuts -- a chance to read with their barbers. It's part of a new effort by the city's schools to place books inside barbershops and encourage barbers to dive into them with their pint-sized patrons. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

One recent morning, James Lyons and Doyle Franklin welcomed students getting dropped off at Cedar Hill Collegiate Academy and High School. 

Nearly every morning, rain or shine, a dad like Lyons and Franklin is there to greet them.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Technology continues to transform operating rooms, and community colleges in North Texas that train surgical technologists must evolve, too. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

North Texas students with visual impairments improved their ability to read — and to enjoy books — this summer with the help of a pilot program in Tarrant County.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Reggie Moss is a mentor to men of all ages, but mostly, to fathers struggling to raise their kids. He works at a faith-based nonprofit in Fort Worth with a mission to make better dads.

Lara Solt / Special contributor to KERA

As a college student at the University of Missouri, Kam Phillips volunteered at a local Boys and Girls Club. There, she got a lesson in reality when she asked kids what they liked to do for fun.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Sarah Matteson, who works at Texas Woman's University in Denton, helps “nontraditional” students get through college. Students range from homeless kids and those who were in foster care or the military to parents raising young children.

When Matteson entered school, she was nontraditional herself.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

What happens when your school heads to the state championship for smart kids three years running? At Seagoville High School in the Dallas school district, students take notice – and the Academic Decathlon team doubles in size. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Throughout the summer, high school and junior high students have been gathering at Southern Methodist University for week-long engineering camps. High schoolers tackled a tough challenge. Devise - then build – one of several electronic items like an alarm clock or home burglary system.  Only make it smaller, cheaper and faster than what’s out there. And finish it in just days.

Lara Solt / Special contributor to KERA

Laura and Alex Laywell spend most of their days working with refugee kids in Dallas’ Vickery Meadow neighborhood. At night, they open their home to them.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

The Texas Legislature’s special session starts Tuesday. At the top of Gov. Greg Abbott’s education agenda: school choice for special-needs students.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Texas is facing shortages in the workforce in fields like nursing and education. One solution: Lawmakers passed a bill this session allowing community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees in certain fields. Gov. Greg Abbot signed the bill into law last month.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Alex Gutierrez struggled with math — and that kept her from going to her dream school. She just wrapped up her senior year at a Garland charter school where students learn English, Spanish and Chinese. She plans to stay home for a few years going to community college, but she has big plans for the future.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Going to school in a tough neighborhood has its challenges, even for a high-achiever like Joel Luera. The high school debater is headed to college in the fall, but the road to graduation hasn’t been easy.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

At this time four years ago, Phantasia Chavers of Cedar Hill was struggling with her sister’s departure for college. Today, it’s Phantasia who’s getting ready to pack her bags.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Kelli Bowdy, a senior at O.D. Wyatt High in Fort Worth, wants to be a nurse — she took special classes through school to make it happen. She’s planning to go to college. But, first, it's time for prom.

Lara Solt / KERA News

Jerry Harris, 18, is a senior at Plainview High School in Ardmore. After his parents split years ago, he left Texas to live with his dad in Oklahoma. Jerry has gone through high school with a learning disability, but he's graduating on time at the end of May.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Chance Hawkins, 19, was born with a rare genetic degenerative disease. He’s getting ready to graduate from Fort Worth’s Dunbar High School, concluding a journey that’s been filled with obstacles — and rewards.

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U.S. News & World Report recently released its annual rankings of the best high schools in the country. The Dallas school district’s School for the Talented and Gifted dropped to fourth place – after five straight years as the No. 1 school. A charter school in Scottsdale, Arizona, took the top spot.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

A new report out says in the 2014-2015 school year, 8 percent of Texas students who dropped out did so in the seventh or eighth grades. The Fort Worth school district is taking several measures to prevent students from dropping out before high school and keep them on the path to graduation.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Focus Academy, an 18-year-old charter school in southern Dallas, is about to close because the state says it has failed to improve bad ratings three years running. The school wants a reprieve after taking in kids from Prime Prep Academy — the school that former Dallas Cowboy Deion Sanders founded. The state shut it down two years ago.

Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

O.D. Wyatt – and the Fort Worth neighborhood around it – looks a lot different now than when the school opened in 1968.

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